Lizella woman wins $1 million from scratch-off lottery ticket

jkovac@macon.comSeptember 21, 2012 

A longtime secretary at the Macon city attorney’s office won $1 million in the Georgia Lottery earlier this week. And she was luckier than you might think.

Jackie Tingle of Lizella was on her lunch break Tuesday with her son when she dropped by the Flash Foods at the corner of College and Forsyth streets to buy a $20 scratch-off lottery card.

But the place was out of $20 cards. So instead Tingle, 67, bought a “$100 Million Cash Blast” card for $10.

She left the store and rode back to work with her son, Darrin Roberts, who was driving. As they wheeled into the parking lot behind City Hall, Tingle told Roberts to pull over.

“So I immediately pulled the car over. She took the ticket and pointed at the number on the line that you had to match ... and there was $1 million under there,” Roberts, 47, said Friday.

“It was pretty unbelievable,” he said. “We had to make sure we weren’t asleep, waking up from a dream. ... You have to let it soak in.”

He and his mother then got the OK from Tingle’s boss, City Attorney Martha Welsh, for Tingle to take the rest of the day off.

On Friday, Welsh said Tingle has been a hard-working employee for decades.

“She’s sweet, generous, and as an employee she’s loyal, dedicated ... a tremendous asset to our office,” Welsh said. “I was a bit wary that she’d wake up the next day and not come to work, because it would be a great loss to us. Fortunately, she did come to work the next day.”

Tingle, who declined interview requests, told lottery officials she wasn’t sure what she would do with her winnings, but that perhaps she’d use it as “a nest egg kind of thing.”

Last week, Monticello tree farmer Joseph Forbes won $1 million playing the “$1,000,000 Grand Casino” scratch-off game at Larry’s Four Way, a food mart on Ga. 212 in Jasper County.

Forbes, 58, told lottery officials he planned to buy a new tractor, adding, “I want to pay off bills and go deer hunting.”

To contact writer Joe Kovac Jr., call 744-4397.

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